5 Restaurants in Montrose to Visit for Houston Restaurant Weeks
It’s one thing to go out for dinner and enjoy yourself. It’s another thing to go out for dinner and enjoy yourself knowing part of your evening will benefit one of Houston’s finest charities. Yes, it’s that time of year again, when the fixed-price menus come out to play and Houston restaurants rally to raise money for the Houston Food Bank through Houston Restaurant Weeks. It’s the largest fundraiser of the year for the largest food bank in America, and Montrose has plenty of participating restaurants to choose from. Start making your reservations, Houston Restaurant Weeks begins August 1.
Eleven XI / 607 W. Gray St.
Though the 11:11 reference is often linked to the elusive Illuminati, the only thing illuminating at this Southern coastal restaurant is the cuisine. It perfectly rides the lines between upscale and relaxed, where patrons in shorts feel right at home alongside business folks in suits.
Menus offered: Dinner
Price: $45 / $7 donation per meal
Sample meal: It’s all savory when it comes to this prix fixe menu. Get started with their grilled oysters (they specialize in the bivalves) with heirloom tomato pico de gallo, pecan pesto, parmesan and bacon. Continue the tomato theme with a smoked heirloom tomato bisque for the second course. For the grand finale, the citrus tea-brined, fried wild game hen is sure to please with once again — local heirloom tomatoes — matchstick fries, a dinner roll and local honey.
Max’s Wine Dive / 214 Fairview St.
Is wine without pretense and food that’s fun (and delicious) at Max’s Wine Dive — a Houston-based chain of just-this-side-of-upscale restaurants that’s set to take over the world. If fun is your aim, there’s not a Restaurant Weeks menu that can match its playfulness.
Menus offered: Dinner
Price: $35 / $5 donation per meal
Sample meal: Nacho mama’s oysters is the best way to start this four-course extravaganza. Fried oysters atop fried wontons are adorned with a garlic aioli, habanero salsa and cilantro for a fresh take on seafood. Follow that up with a watermelon salad with baby arugula, feta, red onion and a citrus vinaigrette to take advantage of this summer’s bounty. Third course brings the hard decisions with five choices, though it’d be difficult to pass up the Southern jalapeño-buttermilk fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, collard greens and Texas toast (with a corresponding gluten-free version). The best part about the Max’s menu is that dessert is included. Birthday cake in a glass, with funfetti cake sandwiched between vanilla buttercream, cake crumbles and vanilla ice cream is the clear winner in this category.
Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen / 4611 Montrose Blvd.
It’s not just the new kids on the block coming out to play for Restaurant Weeks. Classics like Danton’s and their critically acclaimed Gulf Coast cuisine are also offering some of their best options for the occasion.
Meals offered: Brunch and dinner
Price: $45 for dinner / $25 for brunch
Sample meal: Oyster lovers already have plenty of reasons to rejoice (see above options), but Danton’s steals the shellfish category. A sample first course could be a half dozen on the half shell, served with the traditional crackers, cocktail sauce and horseradish. Next could be a fried oyster dinner with two sides or Oysters Kyle which consists of a dozen sautéed in lemon garlic butter served with a rich parmesan garlic bread. For dessert, it’s almost criminal to pass up the white chocolate bread pudding. Non-oyster folks also have plenty to eat with rainbow trout or grilled redfish available for the second course.
La Casa del Caballo / 322 Westheimer Rd.
Blending the beloved steakhouse concept with the cuisine of Northern Mexico, La Casa del Caballo is the ultimate retreat for carnivores.
Meals offered: Dinner and lunch
Price: $35 for dinner / $20 for lunch
Sample meal: Meat, meat and more meat is what’s on the menu. Going all out, you could start out with the beef carpaccio — delicately thin slices of ribeye layered with jalapeños, shaved parmesan and a savory sauce. For the main course, the 20-oz. smoked brisket is the most intense of the selections and served with crispy potatoes. Lastly, and breaking up the bovine theme, is dessert, of which the tres leches cake would be incredibly hard to pass up. Steak before cake.
Brasserie Max & Julie / 4315 Montrose Blvd.
Francophiles will rejoice to find Brasserie Max & Julie, one of the city’s finest examples of homey French cuisine, is a Restaurant Weeks participant. It’s the perfect choice for a cozy date for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Meals offered: Brunch, lunch and dinner
Price: $25 for brunch / $20 for lunch / $45 for dinner
Sample meal: Brunchaholics will be pleased to find a three-course menu available for America’s favorite in-between meal. Guests can begin with a duck confit and brie crepe (it sounds much more elegant in French: crepe au confit de canard et brie), and move on to the always lovely croque monsieur or madame. The difference between the ham sandwiches topped with a rich béchamel is that the monsieur comes without an egg perched atop. Finally, it wouldn’t be a true French meal without dessert, which in this case, should be the profiteroles; puff pastry served with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate sauce.